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Biomechanics of Hand-Cycling Movement

This was a commissioned research from the Cycling and Health Industry Research and Design Center with funding from the Industrial Development Bureau of the Ministry of Economic Affairs to design a hand-bike for people with lower limb impairment in the period of my master degree. My contribution to the research project included machining part, simulation, experimental protocol and data analysis.  


Hand-bike has been developed over the last twenty years and now is widely used in activities of daily living and rehabilitation programs for persons with lower-limb impairments. There are 1 billion rapid-growth disabled people over in the world, which has reached 15% from 10% of the world population estimated in 1970. In Taiwan, there are over 390 thousand people with limbs disabilities, accounting for, 37% of the disabled population, which is the highest proportion to the classification of the disabled population. Since the population of the disabled people is increasing quickly, the development of a hand-bike for people with lower limb impairment is important. 

Our Goals

There are currently no studies that investigate the kinematics, kinetics, and fatigue effects of using a hand bike for a long time. Therefore the purpose of this study through biomechanics and human movement analysis technique are interpreted as follows: 1. To investigate the joint moments of the upper limb under different seat position and resistance conditions, 2. To investigate the influence of extended riding on muscle fatigue endurance of each upper limb joint.


The method can be divided into two stages. In the first stage, we collected the joint electromyographic, kinematic and kinetic data(Video below) to estimate the optimized riding position. In the second stage, we measured the muscle fatigue during extended riding to observe the endurance of main muscles of the upper limb.


This study is intended to deepen our understanding of the biomechanics of reciprocated hand-cycling movement and to acquire reference direction of improvement design from human-based optimized seat position. This will help us to understand disabled subjects’ character of upper limb muscle activities and fatigue, so that we can provide suggestions to avoid accumulated damage under extended riding.

Related Award

2013 Best Poster Award
Annual Symposium on Biomedical Engineering and Technology, Taiwan
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